Skip to Main Content

Annual Wellness Visits For Patients

Wellness exams are nationally recognized as the standard for high quality care and most payers are now incenting providers to perform these important exams annually on all patients, regardless of age.

CHI Saint Joseph Health Partners is your resource for information about Annual Wellness Exams and other quality metrics.

Assessing physical, emotional and social development is important at every stage of life, particularly with children and adolescents. Behaviors established during childhood or adolescence, such as eating habits and physical activity, often extend into adulthood. Well-care visits provide an opportunity for providers to influence health and opportunities for screenings to be performed. It’s critical to get your patients scheduled for these annual exams.

  • Annual Comprehensive Well Child Visit: Ages 3-6 years
  • Annual Adolescent Well Care Visit: Ages 12-21 years
  • Annual Adult Wellness/Preventive Exam: Ages 22-64 years
  • Annual Wellness Visit for Medicare and Medicare Advantage: Ages 65+ (Annual Physical for 65+ is different than the Annual Wellness Visit)

Benefits of Annual Wellness Visits, By Age Group

Click on the age group below to learn more about each type of wellness visit.

Assessing physical, emotional and social development is important at every stage of life, especially with children and adolescents as they start to form lifelong habits. Ensuring that patients ages 3-6 visit their provider at least once a year enables the parent and provider to:

Prevent illness. Your child gets scheduled immunizations, and you can ask about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.

Track growth and development. See how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit, and talk with your provider about your child's development. You can discuss your child's milestones, social behaviors and learning.

Raise concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about with your child's provider such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members. Bring your top three to five questions or concerns with you and discuss at the start of the visit.

Take a team approach. Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. The AAP recommends well-child visits as a way for pediatricians and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child.

While adolescents are generally healthy, they have unique health care needs and tend not to seek well care services where these needs can be addressed as they emerge. During this transitional period, adolescents face significant challenges as they are more likely to engage in activities that risk their overall health, and when many chronic physical, mental health and substance use conditions first emerge. Addressing risky behaviors early and promoting positive health behaviors through annual wellness visits can help adolescents identify and respond to stresses and make good choices in managing their health.

Ensuring adolescents have access to a primary care physician who provides an annual, comprehensive wellness visit can:

  • Foster early screening, counseling, and intervention
  • Reinforce health promotion messages for both adolescents and their parents
  • Identify adolescents with chronic conditions or who are at-risk for health problems or high-risk behaviors
  • Provide the the opportunity to monitor growth and development
  • Support psychological and emotional well-being
  • Encourage healthy lifestyles
  • Build confidence to effectively and appropriately utilize the health care system in the future

Annual wellness visits provide an opportunity for you to discuss any health concerns you may have, as well as to receive or schedule recommended tests and/or immunizations. Depending on your health and personal risk factors, your preventive care schedule may differ from the standard recommendations. If you have particular risk factors like a chronic disease, obesity, or a family history of a diseases, additional screenings may be recommended.

Immunization and Screening Schedule, Ages 22-49
Immunization and Screening Schedule Ages 50-64

The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is a yearly appointment with your primary care provider to create or update a personalized prevention plan. This plan may hep prevent illness based on your current health and risk factors. Keep in mind that the AWV is not a head-to-toe physical. This service is similar to, but separate from, the one-time "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit.

AWV Guidelines 65+